POST TIME: 28 September, 2016 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 28 September, 2016 01:23:39 AM
Sheikh Hasina’s 70th birthday today
AL, BCL cancel programmes to mourn Shamsul Haq

Sheikh Hasina’s 70th birthday today

Today is the 70th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League and daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Different organisations will observe her birthday through various programmes. However, Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) cancelled their programmes to show respect to late eminent litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq.
On this day in 1947, Sheikh Hasina, the eldest of the five children of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Begum Fazilatunnesa, was born at Tungipara of Gopalganj in Faridpur.
BSS adds: Marking the day, Awami League and its affiliated organisations had drawn up elaborate programmes, including discussions on the life and achievement of the premier, cultural events and humanitarian activities for wellbeing of the people. However, the AL and BCL cancelled their programmes after the death of Syed Shamsul Haq. "Both the organisations have cancelled their programmes at the directive of the prime minister to show respect to Syed Shamsul Haq," PM's Special Assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil said yesterday night.
There will be special prayers at mosques, temples, churches, pagodas and other religious places seeking divine blessings for good health and long life of the premier, who is now staying in Virginia on her last leg of the US visit in connection with the 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Prominent citizens including educationalists, economists, writers, physicians and cultural personalities have wished good health and long life of Sheikh Hasina, who is leading the country as the prime minister for the second consecutive five-year term.
Sheikh Hasina spent much of her childhood in the small rural hamlet where she was born. She started her schooling there. In 1954 when Bangabandhu was elected legislator the family relocated to Dhaka. She was admitted to what is now Sher-e-Bangla Girls' School and College and later to Azimpur Girls' High School from where she completed her secondary education in 1965. She was then admitted to what is now Badrunnessa Government Girls' College.
During her Bachelor's course she was elected vice-president of the students' union of Eden Girls' College. (Badrunnessa and Eden Girls' College was one college in those days.) Later, she enrolled on her Masters' program at the Bengali department of Dhaka University.
As a student leader, Sheikh Hasina actively took part in the six-point movement of '66 and the student movement of '69 which saw the abdication of General Ayub Khan.
In 1968, with the blessings of her imprisoned father, Sheikh Hasina was married to Nuclear Scientist Dr Wazed Miah.
During the Liberation War Sheikh Hasina and her family were interned in a house in Dhaka. On July 27, 1971 her first child, Sajib Wazed Joy was born. Her second child Saima Wazed Hossain was born on December 9, 1972. After the assassination of her parents in 1975, Sheikh Hasina and her family was offered political asylum in India, where she stayed till 1981 when she was elected president of the Awami League in absentia.
Following her election in February '81, she came back to the country on May 17, 1981 when she was greeted by a mammoth crowd that extended from the Airport to Farm Gate and Manik Miah Avenue where she addressed a public meeting.
In the 1986 parliamentary election, she was elected to parliament from three different constituencies. After the overthrow of autocracy in 1990 she was elected Leader of the Opposition in the general elections that followed.
In 1996, 21 years after her father was assassinated, she led the Awami League to power and became the prime minister. In 2008, she led the Grand Alliance to a thumping victory with 90 percent of parliament seats.
Earlier on August 21, 2004 when Sheikh Hasina was once again the Leader of the Opposition she barely escaped an attempt on her life as grenades were lobbed at her public meeting on Bangabandhu Avenue. Although she survived the attack, at least 24 of those attending the meeting died and over 200 were injured, many of them Awami League leaders.  Sheikh Hasina was once again elected prime minister in the general elections of January 5, 2014.